Monday, April 19, 2021

Move to partition graveyard divides the villagers

Tension in Bokaa Village is mounting as the Village headman tries to partition the graveyard so that tribal leaders can be buried in their own section.

The villagers are against the proposed plan.

Tempers are expected to fly high at the village kgotla on Tuesday this week where the meeting will be addressed by the headman and the graveyard partitioning is expected to be part of the agenda.
The village council says the proposed plan should be aborted while the Village Development Committee (VDC) says it had not been informed about the proposal.

Following the announcement sometime last year, some villagers lodged a complaint with the paramount chief of Bakgatla and the matter was assigned to the deputy chief to resolve.

Some villagers threatened that if such proposal was passed, they would destabilize the village.
The Village Councilor, Supar Bodika, said the issue started last year after the village headman said he wanted to correct the mistakes made in the past and make sure that tribal leaders have their own graveyard where they can be buried as practiced in the past.

“It is unfortunate that the headman wants to partition the graveyard which he also proposes should be registered in his names,” said Bodika, adding that it is very wrong for the village tribal leader to propose that the graveyard certificate be changed and be registered in his names.

The graveyard certificate is registered under Bokaa Village Development Committee as is required.
Bodika said that he had advised the headman that the matter should not be brought before the kgotla meeting because that may spark hard to contain tensions within the village.

He said people should understand that one cannot register public property under individual names.
“I am optimistic that the matter will be resolved amicably and the village will remain at peace,” he said.

The chairperson of Bokaa VDC, Gorata Moremi, said, “We have not been officially informed about the proposal but we will be able to respond accordingly after we have been officially informed.”
The Deputy chief of Bakgatla, Bana Sekai Linchwe, who is handling the matter, said, “Yes, it is true that there is an issue in Bokaa Village about graveyard partitioning and the matter is still ongoing.”

He declined to discuss the matter further, saying it was an internal matter but was hopeful that the issue will be resolved by next month.

“This matter could have long been resolved but it was delayed because I was arrested and detained for some time and that affected the issue,” he said.

Linchwe said that they will not allow partitioning of the grave yard but pointed out that the matter is still under extensive discussion.

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